The spiral freezer addresses some of the bigger challenges in the sector, including corrosion and caustic washdown.
Bonfiglioli’s engineering manager, Eric Fourie, says the company’s spiral freezer offering already has a proven track record of success in the industry after being adopted several years ago.
Fourie said one of the major benefits of the company’s spiral freezers was the international standards they are all made to meet.
“This means clients can expect international best practise on these applications,” said Fourie.
“The solution is strongly influenced by the local industry and equipment manufacturer’s needs, and hence there are some variations between the regions and customers. However, the underlying principles remain the same.”
Fourie put a focus on the 300 series as a product which is a particularly good fit for a range of freezer applications.
“Spiral freezers run at speeds typically less than 2 r.p.m,” says Fourie.
“The low speed and high torque density of a planetary drives makes it ideally suited to this application.”
The machine consists in a spiral conveyor driven by a centrally mounted gearmotor and operates at very low temperature (down to -40°C / -40F).
One of the big problems in food industry applications is obviously corrosion and caustic wash-down. To address this, Bonfiglioli configures the drives, not just to content with caustic wash-down, but the consideration is also extended to solvents at both high temperatures and pressures.
“We have developed coating systems that vary from Polyurethane to Zinc based systems in response to the operator’s preferred method of cleaning,” says Fourie.
To prevent corrosion the drivers are periodically cleaned by sanitiser liquid which are corrosive for exposed surfaces, seals, and unprotected surfaces.
In some machines the sanitiser liquid is hot water or vapour up to 120°C, causing problems to common paint and protection.
Some of the key elements offered by Bonfiglioli’s spiral freezer solutions include a review of each individual application before being configured to suit.
“We also incorporate physical changes to drive components and also carefully choose the auxiliary items from our current product portfolio to meet the demands of the particular spiral freezer,” said Fourie.
“Oil seals are selected, allowing for both chemical stability and low operating temperatures. We typically flood fill the units with an oil able to operate at very low temperatures.
“The position of the lubrication tank and subsequent transfer of lubrication between the tank and gearbox is carefully considered and matched with the correct breather. We are able to configure the drives with oil level sensors and drain valves to minimise oil spillage and enable easy maintenance.”
The application is characterised by a range of features, including a wide range of ambient temperatures and high humidity, extremely low operating temperature of gearbox and it is food industry compliant for lubricants, UH1 food grade lubricants that is USDA/FDA approved.
“Bonfiglioli products allow spiral freezers to operate continuously and maximize processing uptime through high manufacturing standards,” said Fourie.
“Most importantly, our gearmotors can safely operate in the extremely low temperatures necessary in the freezing process and can durably withstand the demanding cleaning procedures.”
Local stock and assembly of these units are available from the Bonfiglioli head office in Sydney.